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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > World War II > Governments & Organizations

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Governments & Organizations Unit histories, OOB, political parties, OSS, Waffen-SS; if it has anything to do with the functioning of military or government organizations, this is the place for it.

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  #1  
Old 27 Sep 16, 18:47
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USMC Marines Worlds Greatest

There is no doubt, outside of some specialized units, like the Navy Seals, perhaps the SAS Brits, that they were in WW2 and Korea, and till today, an amazingly fierce fighting force, bar none. No doubt, the campaigns in the Pacific in WW2 were far more intense, fighting Pacific Islands with all different hell like experiences, some pure coral hell @ 100 plus degrees like Iwo Jima & Peleliu, some jungle hellholes, like Guadalcanal , some like Tarawa that were impossible sandbars, that prevented invasions. The Marines never stopped for anything, none the less. I feel Peleliu was actually the worst. The Germans got off lucky, the fought the Army and the British Army, never faced #1 USMC! No tea taking time, no excuses that the Army has w/ losses, just a force that doesn't stop till the objective is achieved!
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  #2  
Old 27 Sep 16, 19:05
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The Marines never were faced with leaving a division in the front line until it was shot out. In every island campaign in the Pacific they were taken after battle to a secure base and allowed to train replacements and get some walking wounded back to the units. About half of their survivors were sent back to the CONUS to raise new units and train them. They also seemed to land only on islands as well. There were several Army Divisions that fought on New Guinea that did as well with less capable manpower. The Marines did not start getting Draftees until what, 1944?

I like the Marines, but they are only human. There are lots of units/corps that did as well. You might read up on Panzerkorps Herman Goering and the Grossdeutschland Division. The British Marines also did well. If you prefer American units, I would suggest the 1st Infantry Division, 3rd Infantry Division and even the 45th Infantry Division.

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Old 28 Sep 16, 04:10
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which branch made the most landings in the PAO?

which branch had the most divisions in the PAO

which branch suffered the most kia/wia in the PAO?

None of the answers is USMC.
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Old 28 Sep 16, 05:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianBoru2485 View Post
There is no doubt, outside of some specialized units, like the Navy Seals, perhaps the SAS Brits, that they were in WW2 and Korea, and till today, an amazingly fierce fighting force, bar none. No doubt, the campaigns in the Pacific in WW2 were far more intense, fighting Pacific Islands with all different hell like experiences, some pure coral hell @ 100 plus degrees like Iwo Jima & Peleliu, some jungle hellholes, like Guadalcanal , some like Tarawa that were impossible sandbars, that prevented invasions. The Marines never stopped for anything, none the less. I feel Peleliu was actually the worst. The Germans got off lucky, the fought the Army and the British Army, never faced #1 USMC! No tea taking time, no excuses that the Army has w/ losses, just a force that doesn't stop till the objective is achieved!
The German Heer would have eaten the USMC for breakfast.

That is for the very simple reason that it was an arm composed of six divisions. The Germans had a few hundreds.

Now, I know you are comparing equal-sized units, and yes, one USMC division would have very probably made short shrift of one average German infantry division.

But the news is that war isn't a sport. The Germans would have sent one of their divisions against one USMC division only if forced to - like the Japanese were forced by things outside the USMC, like the US Navy, to accept the odds that the USA felt they could win with.

Note how you mention the Navy SEALs or the SAS - we're talking about minuscule elite units. The smaller the unit, the easier it is to keep the quality high. Get only volunteers, for a start. Set high physical standards. Select the personnel, etc. Trian them for a long time. Don't let the trained men be squandered away.
All this is feasible with a small organization. Very easy with the SEALs, we're talking about a few hundreds men. Quite easy with a puny 6-division outfit. Now try that with an army of a hundred divisions.

But quantity has a quality of its own.
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Old 28 Sep 16, 09:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianBoru2485 View Post
There is no doubt, outside of some specialized units, like the Navy Seals, perhaps the SAS Brits, that they were in WW2 and Korea, and till today, an amazingly fierce fighting force, bar none. No doubt, the campaigns in the Pacific in WW2 were far more intense, fighting Pacific Islands with all different hell like experiences, some pure coral hell @ 100 plus degrees like Iwo Jima & Peleliu, some jungle hellholes, like Guadalcanal , some like Tarawa that were impossible sandbars, that prevented invasions. The Marines never stopped for anything, none the less. I feel Peleliu was actually the worst. The Germans got off lucky, the fought the Army and the British Army, never faced #1 USMC! No tea taking time, no excuses that the Army has w/ losses, just a force that doesn't stop till the objective is achieved!
Them's fightin' words!
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Old 28 Sep 16, 09:44
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While the USMC had an exemplary battle record in Korea, as others have noted their actions in WW2 were generally short-term assaults.

There is certainly no basis for the OP's claim. Moreover, lumping in division-sized units with SEALs and the SAS is absurd.
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Old 28 Sep 16, 09:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianBoru2485 View Post
No doubt, the campaigns in the Pacific in WW2 were far more intense, fighting Pacific Islands with all different hell like experiences, some pure coral hell @ 100 plus degrees like Iwo Jima & Peleliu, some jungle hellholes, like Guadalcanal , some like Tarawa that were impossible sandbars, that prevented invasions. The Marines never stopped for anything, none the less. I feel Peleliu was actually the worst. The Germans got off lucky, the fought the Army and the British Army, never faced #1 USMC!
Another issue: you're lucky no Russian poster has noticed this yet. I'm not Russian, but I can tell you that the Germans also fought another army, the Krasnaya Armiya; and, since you feel the environmental conditions are important, that fighting those guys in the Soviet Union sometimes meant fighting in extreme environmental conditions, too.
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Old 28 Sep 16, 18:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
While the USMC had an exemplary battle record in Korea, as others have noted their actions in WW2 were generally short-term assaults.

There is certainly no basis for the OP's claim. Moreover, lumping in division-sized units with SEALs and the SAS is absurd.
Especially when the SEAL's didn't exist in WW 2, and the SAS was primarily a sabotage and reconnaissance operation and hadn't morphed into the generalized "special ops" group it is today.
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Old 29 Sep 16, 05:40
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Could we be dealing with a teen fan that doesn't think his question through and has little knowledge of his chosen subject?
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Old 29 Sep 16, 06:02
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Could we be dealing with a teen fan that doesn't think his question through and has little knowledge of his chosen subject?
Yep. Which is why my size 9s weren't all over him.
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Old 29 Sep 16, 06:13
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Another thread that brings nothing to the debate and has the taste of a youtube laptop warriors contest .
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Old 29 Sep 16, 06:15
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There is no such thing as the world's greatest fighting unit, never has been and never will be. Different situations require different attributes and outside of some Hollywood or gaming fantasy the universal all round good at everything fighter does not exist. Sometimes what is needed is a compact assault force (as in some of the Pacific actions), sometimes a force that will dig in and hold its ground doggedly against an overwhelming larger force and blunt or even break it (as at Kohima and Imphal). There have been times when a long weary seemingly inglorious fighting retreat is called for and others where the ability to move in large numbers and envelope the enemy is essential.

Different types of unit are required for different campaigns. For example Titos partisan army was often ill disciplined, usually ragged, well aware of the maxim "he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day" and yet they withstood the the combined forces of the German and Italian armies in conditions I suspect that the USMC would have struggled with, Does this mean that they were better ? No they were just more appropriate to the circumstances and the battlefield conditions of Yugoslavia.
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Old 29 Sep 16, 08:31
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Quote:
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Could we be dealing with a teen fan that doesn't think his question through and has little knowledge of his chosen subject?
His one post said that he's retired from the FDNY, but with some of his comments on the Northern Ireland situation, you have to wonder...
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Old 29 Sep 16, 10:23
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I just finished reading E.B. Sledge's classic "With the Old Guard", I highly recommend it.
Not to take anything away from other units that proved themselves under fire in combat, but the war in the Pacific was a very special form of hell.
Pelieu was made up of volcanic rock, it was impossible to dig a hole, it was over 100 f every day, the enemy was well prepared and well trained and well armed.
Iwo Jima was another special hell hole. A smoldering sulfuric rock where bodies stated to cook where they fell and the enemy was above you, below you, behind you and waiting in front of you.
Okinawa, even after the island was declared secure and the battle was officially over, Marine and Army unit killed another 3,900 enemy soldiers. That battle last 97 days.
Japanese Soliders seldom if ever surrendered.
My cousin was a 17 year old when he landed on Red Beach on Iwo Jima, survived 36 days of constant combat, became one of five men in his platoon that walked off the rock, the rest were dead or carried off on stretchers.
He retired 33 years later after serving in the Korean War and three trips to Vietnam, upon his retirement he talked with me about his service, something he never did before.
I asked him one question, out of all your assignments which one stands out in your memories.
Iwo Jima, he said. To get off the beach he crawled through a gut pile that had moments before bern another Marine. The island sand was so hot you could bury rations 6 inches deep and they would cook in 15 min. Nobody slept for the first three weeks, coke nights, hot days, constant artillery fire from both sides.
Night attacks by the enemy, the smell of sulfur, gun powder, human waste, blood and rotting flesh permeated everything.
He sad he still had nightmares. I said " those Japs were fanatical fighters,"
He replied, " and we killed everyone of them, what's that make us?"
All combatants saw and did things that test man. Some served in Europe, Africa, at sea or in the air, each had incredible and terrific experiences.
But IMO, being dropped off on an island to face an enemy who has had months to prepare for you, has artillery preregistered on every hiding place, and refuses to surrender, in an environment as hostile as the islands of the Pacific is a hell few could imagine.
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Old 30 Sep 16, 03:11
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Quote:
Nobody slept for the first three weeks, coke nights, hot days,
So I guess they nights were fun.
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